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Warm-Up Activity 7.1: Review APA Code of Ethics

Warm-Up Activity 7.1: Review APA Code of Ethics
This week, take time to review Standard 8: Research and Publication of Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct With the 2010 Amendments, located under your weekly resources.
Warm-Up Activity 7.2: IRBs and Human Participants
Read the information located under your weekly resources about Institutional Review Boards and experiments with human participants at:
• American Psychological Association. (2012). Responsible conduct of research. Washington, DC.
• U.S. Health and Human Services Department. (n.d.). Informed consent frequently asked questions.
Assignment
APA Ethical Standard 8 -Research and Publication, emphasizes the need for psychologists to inform participants about the purpose of the research, expected duration, and procedures. It requires psychologists to inform participants of their right to decline to participate and to withdraw from the research once participation has begun and the foreseeable consequences of declining or withdrawing. It also requires that participants be informed about the limits of confidentiality and incentives for participation. Rebers, Aaronson, and Schmidt (2016) identified three main categories of reasons for waiving the informed consent requirement: (1) decrease of data validity and quality; (2) distress or confusion of participants; and (3) practical problems. Practical problems include the possibility of selection or consent bias, which may result when the group giving researchers access to their data differs from the group denying access (Rothstein & Shoben, 2013).
For your assignment this week, you are being asked to prepare to submit a research project to the Institutional Review Board (IRB). This is hypothetical and you will not have to actually conduct the study. However, you will have to justify whether or not you are going to give the participants in your study a limited informed consent, or a fully informed consent.
Here is a bit more about the study itself:
You have decided to study how a very noisy environment differentially affects male adults and female adults, or boys and girls. One of the areas you are assessing is their ability to complete a reading comprehension task under those conditions. Your hypothesis is that female adults and girls will be less affected by high level noise than male adults and boys. In this case study example, if you provide a fully informed consent, you would need to include the expected results within the informed consent form. As such, you might unintentionally influence the results – so you might add a statement that this is not a given, but it is what you are hypothesizing or expecting to find. As an alternative option, you can opt to provide a limited informed consent, where you do not reveal what you expect to find within your informed consent. If you opt for this approach, you want to argue why it is okay to exclude this information from the consent form, focusing on how this might allow for more valid results to be obtained.
To support your decision, you will provide the IRB with a 1-2-page summary of your argument for one of two options – either a) a fully informed consent, or b) a limited informed consent. Provide support for your decision with a minimum of 3 scholarly sources, citing specific APA ethical codes for Standard 8 at least once in your response.
Length: a 1-2-page summary paper with a minimum of 3 scholarly sources (1 of the 3 citing the specific APA ethical code for Standard 8 at least once in your response).
Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards where appropriate. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.
Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.
References
Rebers, S., Aaronson, N. K., van Leeuwen, F. E., & Schmidt, M. K. (2016). Exceptions to the rule of informed consent for research with an intervention. BMC Medical Ethics, 171. doi:10.1186/s12910-016-0092-6
Rothstein, M. A., & Shoben, A. B. (2013). Does consent bias research? The American Journal of Bioethics: AJOB, 13(4), 27-37. doi:10.1080/15265161.2013.767955
Providing Informed Consent for a Study on the Effects of Noise on Reading Comprehension
This proposed study aims to examine how noise differentially impacts reading comprehension abilities in male adults and boys compared to female adults and girls. The researcher hypothesizes that female participants will be less affected by high levels of noise during the reading task. When seeking approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the researcher must determine the appropriate type of informed consent to obtain from participants. A fully informed consent risks biasing results by revealing the study hypotheses, while a limited consent risks compromising participants’ autonomy. By balancing these ethical obligations, a nuanced approach to informed consent is warranted.
A limited informed consent avoids stating hypotheses directly but maintains participants’ right to voluntary and informed participation (American Psychological Association, 2012; U.S. Health and Human Services Department, n.d.). The consent form would provide a general description of the purpose as assessing noise effects on reading without indicating expected outcomes between groups. This preserves the internal validity of findings by keeping participants naïve during testing. However, to respect autonomy, the consent process must involve a brief verbal overview emphasizing rights and voluntary participation (U.S. Health and Human Services Department, n.d.).
Full disclosure of the hypotheses could be achieved post-study through debriefing. Debriefing participants and revealing the complete rationale, including hypotheses tested, maintains scientific integrity while respecting participants through disclosure (Rothstein & Shoben, 2013). This balanced approach ethically navigates Standard 8 of the APA Ethics Code, which requires informing participants of the study purpose, risks, and rights to withdraw consent or data at any time (American Psychological Association, 2012).
In conclusion, a limited informed consent coupled with verbal discussion and post-study debriefing strikes an appropriate balance. It allows for collection of unbiased data while respecting participants’ autonomy, choice, and right to information. This nuanced process satisfies ethical obligations to participants and the scientific community.
References:
American Psychological Association. (2012). Responsible conduct of research. Washington, DC.
Rothstein, M. A., & Shoben, A. B. (2013). Does consent bias research? The American Journal of Bioethics: AJOB, 13(4), 27-37. doi:10.1080/15265161.2013.767955
U.S. Health and Human Services Department. (n.d.). Informed consent frequently asked questions. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/guidance/faq/informed-consent/index.html

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